Trump aside, what's the U.S. role in NATO

By Barry R. Posen

President Trump has many bad ideas. Reconsidering America’s role in NATO isn’t one of them.

NATO, a military alliance, was formed specifically to prevent the Soviet Union from dominating Europe, whose principal powers — Germany, France, Italy and Britain — had been so devastated by World War II that they were vulnerable to Soviet coercion, subversion or conquest. NATO also became a vehicle for rehabilitating the Axis powers — Germany and Italy — under the victors’ tutelage.

America had an enduring interest in ensuring that the Continent not fall under the domination of a single, capable, hostile power: That could pose a serious threat to America. The Truman administration was clear on this point: The main purpose of stationing American military forces in Europe in the early 1950s was to stay long enough to right the balance of power, not to stay forever.

This piece was originally published by The New York Times. To read this piece in its entirety, click HERE.